Location: Oostvaarderplassen, Flevoland, NL
Contest: Visitor's Centre Oostvaardersplassen
in collaboration with: Claudia Schmidt
(mir architecten) and Martin Arfalk (Mandaworks)
Presentation: 3 panels A2
Status: not realised
The Oostvaardersplassen is an artificial nature development area in the northwestern of the province Flevoland. This typical Dutch polder area has become the home for a wide variety of species, some of which have been 're-bred' and 're-naturalised' into the 'semi-wild environment'.
In this setting, Made of a thatched roof and surface, it hints at the process of re-introducing the archetypical, long-haired Heck cattle in the area. Constructed as a bridge over the water of the polder, the visitor's centre is the only entrance to the natural area and marks the “transition from culture to wilderness”. Upon entering the centre via a walking bridge, one passes a vegetable and herb garden on the roof. Ascending the stairs to the central level, one can cross the space of the permanent exhibition up to a panoramic window that allows surveying the Dutch savanna. The glass pavilion on the lower ground resides at water level, and is the gate to exploring the area by foot or by solar boot – and offers a whiskey on the rocks, quoting: “nature is wonderful; however there should be something to drink as well” (Willem Kloos, 19th century poet and literary critic: “Natuur is prachtig maar ik moet er wel wat te drinken bij hebben”.)